Photonics has numerous applications in environmental science and monitoring. Here are some ways photonics is used in environmental applications:
Insitu inspection is becoming an increasingly important trend across many industries, including water safety and quality monitoring. Measuring and recording the chemical composition of water ensures the quality of the water used in farmland, enables the measurement of waste entering our water sources, and facilitates the reporting required to meet government water safety and waste regulations. UV-VIS spectrometers are among the few measurement techniques that can record the chemical composition of water insitu. Hamamatsu’s high-sensitivity spectrometers and accompanying light sources can identify organic molecules that exhibit strong absorption in the UV range, measure dissolved total nitrogen and phosphorus, and more.
Hamamatsu product lines for environmental monitoring and analysis.
Insitu and point-of-contact measurements are also necessary for gas analysis, which is made possible by utilizing the mid-infrared (MIR) region of light. Traditional silicon- and InGaAs-based detectors have no sensitivity in the MIR regions of light, and fail to utilize the “fingerprint” regions of the MIR spectrum. The MIR region contains specific absorption bands for many gases of high interest, such as CH4, CO2, NOx, SOx, and NH3. InAsSb, a type of compound semiconductor, enables the detection of MIR light while boasting high sensitivity and long lifetime, and meeting RoHS compliance. Absorption-based noncontact gas analyzers using an InAsSb compound semiconductor are used across many different fields, including environmental monitoring, process control, energy, and healthcare.
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